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Fugitive and a vagabond in the earth (Genesis chap. 4, verse 14)

Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

It’s a bit the story of Genesis 3 that repeats itself. Adam was driven out of Eden by disobeying God, outlining prerogatives that only belong to God, such as universal knowledge and the ability to do everything without limits. Cain’s fate is even more terrible, because he has committed a real sin, a fratricide. If Adam had been condemned to cultivate a damn ground and producing only rows and prunas, Cain is also removed from this soil. For his responsibility, he did not want to follow the father steps, but at the same time he had not the courage to do something other.

Cain instead preferred to stain the blood of his brother: Abel. Therefore, the earth itself – Mother earth – repels him away from it. But to stay away from the Mother Earth, from life’s origins it means staying away from God. And if Adam and Eve were ashamed of their human condition, their fragility, and they were covered with fig leaves, Cain thinks instead of having to hide in front of God.

Without the earth, far from God – as he thinks – he exposes himself to violence, to the chain of violence. He killed and therefore fears that he will. He will not have peace in that condition, and if God really abandoned him to this destiny, he would be the prototype of every man who rightly deservers a fate like that of Cain. It will be like this?

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Simone Venturini

Writer and Researcher at Vatican Secret Archives, Professor of Bible at Pontifical University of the Holy Cross od Rome

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